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José Manuel Pinto / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

The defending cup champions are currently on board a flight to Vitoria that left El Prat Airport at 11.30 this morning and is due to reach its destination at around 12.45. The round of 32 game against Alavés kicks off this evening at 22.00 (Marca TV).

Tito Vilanova is taking a squad of 16 that includes none of the rested Valdés, Messi, Xavi, Alba or Pedro, but does feature three players that missed the game against Rayo last weekend, Mascherano, Sergi Roberto and Tello.

Rosell leads the party

The FCB entourage is being led by president Sandro Rosell, who will be attending tonight’s cup opener in person. Other senior members of the travelling parry include director Joan Bladé and the director of football, Andoni Zubizarreta.

At 14.30, the directors of the respective clubs are due to meet for lunch at the Sociedad Gastronómica. At 18.00, Pau Vilanova, director in chief of the social commission, is due to meet representatives of the Basque supporters clubs in the clubhouse of the PB Euskobarça.

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